March 29, 2010

The Panther men's lacrosse team suffered its first loss of the season as John Lyons buried a shot from the left side of the box with 2:48 remaining to lift Connecticut College (6-0, 3-0) to an 8-7 victory against fifth ranked Middlebury College (4-1, 2-1) in a battle between undefeated NESCAC rivals on the Artificial Turf at Silfen Field Saturday. The game was Conn.'s first victory over Middlebury since '95.

            Stephen Eicher led all scorers with three goals in the triumph. Ryan Hayes chipped in with a goal and an assist and Rob Moccia made 15 saves in the victory for Connecticut College. 

            Senior Pete Smith (Wilton, Conn.) had two goals and one assist in the setback for the Panthers. Sophomore Alex Englert (Wellesley, Mass.) scored twice while classmate sophomore Jack Balaban (Washington, D.C.) contributed with a goal and an assist for Middlebury. Junior netminder Ryan Deane (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) stopped seven shots in the contest.

            The Panthers vaulted their way out to a 3-1 lead after one and maintained a 5-3 advantage after Balaban corralled a ground ball and assisted Smith on a score with 5:11 remaining in the first half. With 15 seconds remaining in the half, Eicher scored a critical goal to pull the Camels to within one and the visitors were clinging to a 5-4 lead at the break.

            Steve Dachille scored the first goal of the second half, the 96th of his career, on a feed from Hayes with 6:32 to go. Moments later, Hayes collected a ground ball of the faceoff and drove to the cage for a score that put the Camels on top 6-5.  Middlebury responded though, tying the score on a goal from junior Andrew Conner (Alexandria, Va.) with 3:39 remaining and the teams headed into the fourth quarter locked up in a 6-6 tie.

            Doran made a nifty looking move, splitting a pair of defenders to beat Deane at the left post side of the cage for a goal with 8:11 remaining.  With 3:43 to go, Middlebury forced the fourth and final tie of the contest when Englert scored from the left side of the box on an assist from junior David Hild (W. Hartford, Conn.).

Lyons found some shooting space on the perimeter and put the Camels on top for good with 2:48 remaining.  The Camels were victorious in 13 of the 19 face-offs in the victory. Chuck Czerkawski was 10-of-12 in face-offs four ground balls. Will Schumann contributed four ground balls on the defensive side of the ball. Smith had five ground balls to lead the visitors.

Fifth-ranked Middlebury out-scored 11th-ranked Washington and Lee 3-0 over the final 7:34 of the game to produce an 11-9 win over the Generals in men's lacrosse action on Tuesday evening at Georgetown University.

The Generals (7-2) took a 9-8 lead with 3:03 left in the third quarter when senior Kevin Feeney scored with an assist from senior Will Keigler. 

W&L had several good looks to start the fourth quarter, but could not find the net and the Panthers knotted the game at 9-9 on a goal by senior midfielder Chris Teves (Wellesley, Mass.) with an assist to Smith with 7:34 left in the game.

            Middlebury (4-0) took its first lead since the 5:35 mark of the third period when sophomore Tim Cahill (Glastonbury, Conn.) found rope off a feed from senior Jack Masur (Bethesda, Md.) with 6:26 to play.  Conner then provided an insurance goal when he scored unassisted just 51 seconds later.

W&L opened the game with a 2-0 lead on goals by junior midfielder Gerard Savarese and senior midfielder Logan Bartlett with an assist from Keigler.

Middlebury then scored four-straight goals, including a pair by Cahill, to take a 4-2 lead with 8:20 left in the first period. Each team added one more goal before the end of the first period and the Panthers carried a 5-3 lead into the second stanza. 

W&L first-year attackman Mac Means scored a pair of goals to knot the score at 5-5 with 4:13 left in the second period and neither team led by more than one goal until Middlebury's game-closing run.

Keigler led the Generals with two goals and three assists, while Means posted three goals and Bartlett notched two goals.  Senior Matt Mason stopped eight shots in goal.

Cahill paced Middlebury with four goals, while Smith had three assists.  Hild chipped in two goals and one assist, while Deane posted eight saves in goal.

• Men's lacrosse record: 4-1

• Up next: 4/3 @ Colby